Harold J. Berney

Harold J. Berney, a long-time swindler, decided to use flying saucers to push a scam back in the 1950s. It’s a fabulous story that got a lot of press at the time, but has seemingly dwindled into semi-obscurity (although Nick Redfern’s written about it a bit). We cover the basics in a fairly fun way here, but for an ultra-deep dive into Berney’s long criminal life, I recommend checking out the definitive piece on him over at The Saucers that Time Forgot.

And if you like saucer swindlers, be sure to check out our episode on Reinhold Schmidt, if you haven’t!

4 comments

  1. Okay, so I have some questions about Berney’s wife. Did she admit to receiving a package from an alleged alien, which contained the claim that her husband was deceased? If so, did she act as though she really believed her husband was dead, or was she privy to the scheme? And if she was privy to the scheme, shouldn’t she have been indicted as a co-conspirator, or at least as an accomplice? Is there any information on whether their marriage continued after he was arrested and convicted?

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    • Oh man… the whole thing becomes so convoluted when the non-saucer parts of his life get involved. Honestly, I sound like a broken record, but the article at Saucers at Time Forgot covers it better than I could!

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  2. Thanks. From the account given there, I see she was among his various victims rather than an accomplice. Her life seems to have involved a lot of sadness, but at least her last 30 years or so appeared to be reasonably happy.

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  3. NICAP’s attitude toward Berney is awfully reminiscent of how many folks treated Añjali and her aliens in the Mojave cave story. Not that I’m inclined to defend her, but people raising the bar so high for her while giving more prominent figures a pass feels very hypocritical to me.

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